On this Saint Patrick's Day, I'm not going to tell you there's no such thing as luck.

Some people are born into money, for example, and never have to work a difficult day in their lives. Others wind up with windfalls and wealth that they did nothing to earn. Still others seem always to be in the right place at the right time.

Yet, a lot of so-called luck is just envious people trying to explain away other people's success. So here are 17 times it looks like people are just lucky--when they're actually smart, good, and accomplished.

Bonus content: 9 Things Great Leaders Say Every Day (free infographic)

1. When they seem lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Maybe. Or perhaps they're mindful about their location. If something's going on, they go there. And if there's no point in being there, they're not.

2. When they seem lucky that people thought of them.

We're all brands now. People who seem to be super-lucky make sure that others know about their successes. (By the way: Bill Murphy Jr.™) Have you checked out my company, followed me on Facebook, or signed up for my awesome daily email?

3. When they seem lucky to know the right person.

Sure they do. Because they go out of their way to meet the right people--and, more important, to find ways to help them.

4. When they seem lucky that an opportunity fell into their lap.

I don't speak Mandarin. Heck, I can barely speak high school French. But I do know that thing about how the Mandarin word for crisis is supposedly the same as opportunity. So do some "lucky" people--and as a result, they're always on the lookout for problems to solve.

5. When they seem lucky to have beaten the odds.

Or maybe they're just optimistic--and they understand that perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

6. When they seem lucky that they knew something about someone.

Why? Because they make a habit of listening. They're empathetic, and they care what others have to say.

7. When they seem lucky that they had specialized knowledge.

 Maybe that's because they've decided to be lifelong learners.

8. When they seem lucky that they had beneficial experiences.

Maybe. Or maybe that just means they show up to the party. They're not afraid to try new things.

9. When they seem lucky to have been focused on the right things.

That just means they have focus.

10. When they seem lucky to have foreseen changes.

No, they diversify. Like a stock portfolio, they want to try many different things, and as a result they're more likely to be able to deal with many different outcomes.

11. When they seem lucky to have had friends in the right places.

No, they're polite, conscientious, and work hard to maintain relationships.

12. When they seem lucky that they took a chance and things worked out.

More to the point, they have faith, and they're willing to take leaps.

13. When they seem lucky that the numbers added up.

Maybe. Or maybe they're successful because they do the math ahead of time.

14. When they seem lucky that they didn't believe so easily.

Perhaps, or perhaps they're also active listeners who've learned to be skeptical without being cynical.

15. When they seem lucky to have been able to convince others.

Or maybe they were more able to reason with others because they practice empathy and could put themselves in someone else's shoes.

16. When they seem lucky to be able to focus.

Perhaps that's because they've learned to ignore things that don't matter, or that they know they can't change.

17. When they seem lucky to have wound up where they are.

Maybe. Or maybe they set goals, reviewed them, focused on achieving them--and found success.